Hot Jigging Action off Western Australia

April 19, 2018

Making the most of a recent weather window, Luke Ryan punched out wide for some hot WA jigging action, targeting dhufish, snapper, baldchin cod and breaksea cod.

After not being out on the water much this year, the beginning of March brought with it some great conditions that allowed some friends and myself a couple days out on the blue. Summer had not really given us many opportunities to get out jigging over here in the West with constant southerly winds blowing daily.  

The weather prediction was looking good over the labour-day long weekend for us to get away, however we had just come off a full moon. Generally, when jigging for demersal fish I tend to find the day of the full moon and days post tend to be quite tough fishing. We planned to fish a location roughly two hours’ drive from Perth that normally produces the goods for us.

Arriving the first morning, there was a crisp easterly blowing more then what had been forecast, however that did not deter us as we were very eager to get the boat in the water. We navigated out of the passage in the reefs via the charts and headed for some ground I had marked on previous outings.

Our main targets being West Australian dhufish, snapper, baldchin grouper and breaksea cod, all fine eating fish. Our hopes were not overly high due to the moon phase but upon reaching the area we had planned to fish there was an abundance of striped tuna schools working sardine bait. As I actively participate in the local Perth game fishing club, I secured some points on 2kg line before pulling up to start jigging.

Checking the live tide readings on the Simrad we marked a few areas in the lead up to the high tide that looked like they would be worth a drop. We began dropping some jigs to see what we could get to bite and the action started almost immediately. Over several drifts, we pulled up some good pink snapper, dhufish and amberjack. I noticed the drift was pushing from the north which I tend to find will make the fish sit closer to structure, making it hard to tell if the ground is holding much fish.

Sometimes you can drive over a spot and think that there is not much point in fishing it due to not seeing many targets. I tend to fish good looking ground quite often, even if there is not a lot of target returns as I find fish can sit hard up against the bottom making it hard to read the sounder.

We continued to work the general area and marked a heap of new ground worth fishing. One little tip for anyone who marks heaps of ground like I do is to name you’re spots with what you caught on them. If I catch a dhufish or snapper on them I will simply name it “dhufish snapper”, this way I know it is worth fishing the next time I head out. Naming spots also will well you work out patterns in the area you are fishing.

The rest of the day proved to be awesome fishing as we managed to land some fantastic fish on PE2-3 jigging gear. Our main target, dhufish, were on the chew and we managed to land a fish around the 13kg mark on jig. There was also some very large breaksea cod that smacked the jigs and ended up in the esky, these have to be the best eating fish in my opinion.

Launching the next morning with pristine conditions we managed to cruise out to our ground on autopilot at a comfortable 30 knots. We headed straight for the 85m mark and found some patches of fish worth dropping on.

   

First drop of the morning and I was hooked up to something large on the PE2.5 outfit, my little 4000 reel copped and absolute hiding as I fought what ended up being a 20kg+ samson fish.

We managed several decent sized dhufish too, although nothing quite as large as the previous day. The fish seemed to not be one the chew as much as the previous day and I am putting that down to the northerly current which seemed to be pushing even harder than the previous day. I found myself moving us around more and more picking up fish here and there until the tide began to change. Once getting to the peak of the high there was a window of around an hour of good bite time were most drops resulted in some attention if not a fish.

We still managed to get out bag early and decided to come in closer and fish the back of the reef with stick baits for some surface action. Both mornings I marked several bait schools on the Simrad that would be worth checking out at some point of the day.

    

Arriving back in the same area there was still a decent amount of bait showing on the Simrad so we began working lures which resulted in several kingfish chasing down our stick baits and committing. In between all the bait I also managed to coax a decent sized shark mackerel into smashing a nomad mad scad lure.

All in all, we had some outstanding fishing over two days not too far from Perth, now we are just waiting for the weather to give us another opportunity to get back!

 

Electronics used: 

Simrad NSS EVO3 x2 – S5100 Module – B175HW

Simrad Autopilot AC12 – Precision 9

 

Sounder Settings:

Colour 75-80

Gain Auto +1-3

Scoll speed normal

Ping speed Max

Noise rejection low

Page view Zoom